problem with web developing freelancer, how much to pay?

Discussion in 'Programming' started by jingramm, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. jingramm

    jingramm Senior member

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    I used elance.com to try to get a web site built. Total cost was agreed at $2K. He made me pay 50% up front before he started his work. I gave him exact screenshots of what I was looking for in terms of look and feel including all of the functionality, and he said it was no problem so I trusted him. Fast forward 3 weeks and there have been various technical issues. The site is not close to what I asked for. If it's a site that I can actually use and can put in front of my users without embarrassment, I would pay. But the only thing I can actually use is the homepage and none of the inside pages because it's so screwed up. He has been complaining about the level of work involved that he didn't expect so do I ask him to fix things until he gets it right? I don't know how long that will take. What do I do?
     
  2. ScottMac

    ScottMac Moderator<br>Networking<br>Elite member

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    Pay as little as possible (negotiate) and break it off (hopefully by mutual agreement).

    If what you want is more than the developer can do (by their own admission), then it would be nearly impossible to fulfill the contract to both parties satisfaction.

    Forcing them to continue will result in a sub-standard page, delivered late, and lots of time & aggravation for both sides.
     
  3. beginner99

    beginner99 Platinum Member

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    What do you expect for 2k? If you are lucky you get 2 data entry forms into a database and a simple search form. But no user administration and so forth.

    You get what you pay for. Meaning if it is cheap it will be crappy, but does not mean if it is expensive it is also good.
     
  4. jingramm

    jingramm Senior member

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    Are you talking about paying more than the 50% that I have already given him? I don't feel that I should pay any more than that.

    Most of the elancers use prepackages like Joomla or Wordpress. Most of the price quotes that I got was in the 1K-2K range with the 2K on the high end.
     
  5. ScottMac

    ScottMac Moderator<br>Networking<br>Elite member

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    It depends on the contract. Some are hourly, up to the specified cap, some are "the price" and they deliver a product.

    Through negotiation, get out. Try to get an agreement with the developer and settle for whatever you (and them) feel is fair.
     
  6. BrightCandle

    BrightCandle Diamond Member

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    This is the way of software. Until you have written a thing you don't know how complex it will be. It can look deceptively simple from the outset but in practice turns out not to be so. Very little beyond about 1 days work can be estimated accurately.

    So with that in mind you have a few possibilities:
    1) The developer isn't very good (quite likely), isn't acting professionally and hence you would be better else where.
    2) The developer is competent but has run into some problematic issues with precisely what you have asked for.

    Regardless is sounds like you at arms length right now, get in and understand what the problem is and see if you cant ease the pain of development with some changes in the way things are done. If you dont get a warm fuzzy feeling that this will get you where you want to be then terminate the contract.
     
  7. Markbnj

    Markbnj Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
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    Joomla and Wordpress are quite different, but with plugins you can get Joomla to do anything Wordpress can do.

    Here's the bottom-line: on the freelancing sites you're trolling the absolute bottom of the barrel price-wise. If what you want fits entirely within the existing API of Wordpress or of Joomla + plugins that the developer already knows how to use, and you have a decent design, or are paying someone else to produce one, i.e. the developer can basically set it up for you, drop in your theme, drop in your content, and be done... then yeah, maybe in that case you get a decent website for $2k.

    Practically speaking, I agree with Scott, but I'm not sure you'll be any more successful with the next person you hire unless you have an agreement based on very detailed specifications of what the pages will look like and how they'll behave. Otherwise you'll get into a pissing match every time.
     
  8. baseter

    baseter Junior Member

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    PRobably he used wordpress or joomla. Making a template for wordpress per your instruction should not cost more than 1k$ in total. I suggest you to open an arbitration and try to get your money back.
     
  9. senttoschool

    senttoschool Golden Member

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    Look and feel should be easy to do. Functionality is not.
     
  10. Oziri

    Oziri Junior Member

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    I once used a freelancer programmer that was constantly giving excuses and asking for more time. I also thought he was not that good and that he didn't know how to solve the problem. That's when I gave him a strict deadline. I told him that I don't want to hear any more excuses. Suddenly he knew exactly what to do. Do you get what happened? Freelancers often accept a lot more work than they can handle in a short time frame. They try asking for more time from everyone. Some say: "Sure, it's ok!" Others give a strict: "No way!" Those who can wait mostly wait, those who can't usually get what they want in no time.

    Of course, I can't be sure that's what you're dealing with here. This was just my experience. I hope it helps!
     
  11. Obsoleet

    Obsoleet Platinum Member

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    That, and in some cases laziness. They're probably working from the comfort of their home and it's pretty tough to find an industrious worker in an easy chair.
     
  12. sze5003

    sze5003 Lifer

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    I didn't know people charge so much. Usually I do simple sites for fun with buddies for free. A dude who builds android roms wanted a simple home page and a forum. I set that up and now built a logon and register system just for the hell of it.

    Eventually they will login and upload their roms but the upload part I have no control of as he needs to contact the server company and up the size limit. So I take my time. It's probably scrappy looking but I'm not being payed its purely on donations. And I do it for fun.

    A lot of contractors do take on more work than expected and then they wait till last minute and run into issues.

    I would not have paid until something was available and only taken emergency excuses. I guess because they feel working on their own time is really not like working in an office setting that they can get away with a lot.

    If you haven't already browse some YouTube tutorials or read through some O'Reilly books to get an idea of what you want and what it would take to develop. It always looks easy but when you start working it can turn around quickly.
     
  13. Obsoleet

    Obsoleet Platinum Member

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    Pretty much. I hate web work.
    I like templates. Anything more is uncivilized.

    For the OP, open up the negotiations reminding him that the final $1,000 was contingent upon your original requirements being met but that you want to come to an agreement. Try to see what he suggests you two do. Judge what he says and be willing to offer another $200 if he'll get any reasonable final working product for you.

    ~$1,200 for anything custom that is presentable, and not something you could drop in yourself like a template is not a bad deal. He's got to get those inner pages working though at minimum, that's a must.
     
  14. Markbnj

    Markbnj Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
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    I don't mind it so much. It's just html, css, and javascript that I hate.
     
  15. sze5003

    sze5003 Lifer

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    I love the functional part of development. I don't enjoy designing or messing with sizing and proportions. I can easily make a db, a form, grid whatever. But tell me to craft some colorful html and CSS and I'll spend hours shifting crap around.

    I'm not very artistic. CSS is not bad I just don't use it often and I don't mind fiddling with it if it's already set up.

    At work, all our components are made by another team. So we can't drag and drop shit or style things. Can't even shift stuff over much. I hate when they open defects on visual things that we have little control over. Then again, I would never build a giant enterprise site on just java but hey it is what it is.

    There are so many cool technologies we could have used and been creative but the company was built on old timer code and its been that way for years :/
     
  16. Graze

    Graze Senior member

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    Oh so you hate web work!
     
  17. GSquadron

    GSquadron Member

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    If the guy you signed up for is from India, you are scammed.
    I would hardly think of anyone taking less money for the job.
    Maybe he didn't know how to get the job done, or he didn't want to.

    One think you should know is that you get what you pay for.
    Even if you pay little money, the developer will hate making the website,
    if it is not really worth it and you will loose your contacts.

    But if you pay him well enough, even if it doesn't cost that much,
    from my experience working with this stuff, I can tell you that I did
    more job because I felt like I had to do it and it was worth the time
     
    #17 GSquadron, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  18. Cogman

    Cogman Lifer

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    There is more to web work than html, javascript, and css. In fact, the more interesting stuff generally occurs outside of those technologies.
     
  19. Markbnj

    Markbnj Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
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    While I was joking, Cogman is right: there is a lot to the web stack outside the client that presents interesting challenges and opportunities. Don't get me wrong, I actually like client-side development. There's a lot of satisfaction in building visual interfaces. But I do detest javascript as an implementation language, and I often find myself at odds with younger programmers who've grown up using huge gobs of it to do everything on the client side. There's a reason why strongly-typed languages were invented. I also find little to love about html and css, for reasons that will be so widely agreed-upon here that there ain't much use in enumerating them.
     
  20. BigDH01

    BigDH01 Golden Member

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    You should play with some client-side MVC frameworks. I'm really enjoying angular.js, although I write coffeescript and compile to javascript. I'm not a huge fan of HTML and CSS as design isn't really my thing, but HAML and sass has made these things much easier. A framework like bootstrap.css even makes for good templates. Combine these things with a good server-side tech like sinatra or asp.net mvc web api (one of my favs) and you can have a very rich user experience fairly quickly while having a good bit of fun.
     
  21. Markbnj

    Markbnj Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
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    I've used bootstrap and I'm using knockout on my current project. I agree, you can get a lot happening without a ton of code. The knockout mail client tutorial is a good example of what can be done.

    But regardless, no framework is going to make me start liking javascript.
     
  22. Graze

    Graze Senior member

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    Interesting or not, at the end of the day all your "interesting stuff" would be presented using javascript, css and html.

    I see these markups and scripts as something you just have to use. I have no disdain for them or love for them. Maybe I have not work long enough with them to understand the hatred(this would be especially true of JS).
     
  23. Munashiimaru

    Munashiimaru Junior Member

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    From a programmers perspective, html is almost inconsequential almost everything I've written was in JSP/ASPX with very little html inside them. They generate it for you for the most part.

    Javascript is pretty terrible from a language perspective, and generally people throw coding standards out the window the second they start writiing it. Makes it a pain in the ass to work with most people's JS. It's also not secure so anything you do JS side you need to account for server side anyway. It has it's uses, but I've seen at least one project that was completely unmaintainable because the orginator decided to write everything he could no matter how convoluted it needed to be in javascript.
     
  24. Graze

    Graze Senior member

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    I dislike asp.NET for this, it just feels like something for people who have only done Windows form programming to use to throw a site together(of course I am ignoring whatever advantages it offers).

    You will still have to make server side provisions where it comes to javascript, yes but the point of it is that you don't have to rely on a post back action which disrupts the user experience.

    My use for javascript is only for validation and other things as such.
     
  25. Markbnj

    Markbnj Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
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    I think you both have the right idea. Javascript is a terrible language for doing anything complex. You're much better off using it as glue, which it excels at. Unfortunately there are a lot of web developers out there who grew up on html and script, and they often find it easier to use js than to switch mental contexts back to the server and engineer a more stable and controllable solution. Bandwidth is getting cheaper all the time, while on the mobile side at least you could probably say that CPU is back to being a limited resource. Perhaps javascript has reached it's high point. I hope so.

    ASP.NET doesn't deserve the critique, imo, but it sort of doesn't matter anymore now that MVC is fast becoming the preferred web framework on the MS stack.